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Home > Colombia, a bird-watching paradise

                     Colombia, a bird-watching paradise                      

An amazing trip for nature and bird lovers. Accompanied by specialists, Esencia takes you to the different regions with their varying climates to closely observe endemic bird species, hummingbirds, and dozens of other rare species.

Map

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Bogota
  • Day 2: Chingaza - Bogota
  • Day 3: Bogota - Leticia - Calanoa Reserve - Leticia - Calanoa Reserve
  • Day 4: Calanoa Reserve
  • Day 5: Calanoa Reserve
  • Day 6: Calanoa Reserve - Leticia - Bogota - Pereira
  • Day 7: Cocora Valley - Pereira
  • Day 8: Otún Quimbaya Sanctuary - Pereira
  • Day 9: Pereira - Bogota - Santa Marta - Minca
  • Day 10: Minca - El Dorado - Minca - Santa Marta - El Dorado
  • Day 11: El Dorado
  • Day 12: El Dorado - Santa Marta - El Dorado - Santa Marta
  • Day 13: Santa Marta - Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 14: Cartagena de Indias
  • Day 15: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota

TRAVEL BOOK

Day 1: Bogota

Arrival at Bogota El Dorado International airport.
Transfer to your hotel in Candelaria district.
Free time to enjoy at your own Colombia´s capital city where modern districts and historic center, urban architecture and green parks stand alongside.
Overnight at The Orchids Hotel in a Deluxe room.


Included : transfer arrival, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 2: Chingaza - Bogota

Departure to Chingaza, near Bogota. Covering an area of 76,000 hectares, this park is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species (such as the Andean condor). During the hike, you will enjoy the rich ecosystem, between sacred lagoons (Siecha and Guasca are significant sites in the Muisca mythology) and “frailejones” (typical shrubs of high altitude above 3,000 meters).

Note 1: about 5 hours´ driving.
Note 2: hiking through a rough terrain; approximately 3-4 hours´walking. Level: moderate to difficult.
Note 3: picnic lunch included.
Note 4: cold/moderate climate (4 ° C to 21.5 ° C), 800 to 4020m of altitude.
Overnight at The Orchids Hotel in a Deluxe room.
Included : lunch (no drinks), entrance fees, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast

Day 3: Bogota - Leticia - Calanoa Reserve

Transfer to Bogota airport for your domestic flight.

Domestic flight to Leticia.
Arrival to Leticia and transfer by private boat on the Rio Amazonas to reach the lodge. After 1h30 of navigation, check into your lodge.

After dinner, night jungle walk to soak up noise, and discover species of insects and animals that only come out at night.

IMPORTANT : The Calanoa lodge is an Ecolodge which works closely with local communities.
Located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, it functions ecologically: use of rain water, electricity only between 3 PM and 11 PM, meals prepared according refueling and fishing.
The activities are generally organized as follows: a first excursion in the morning at 9 AM, returning in the late morning, then lunch at the lodge. A second one is planned between 3 and 5 PM. The order of activities may be reorganized with your guide depending on weather conditions or your interests.

Note 1: at Leticia airport, you will have to pay the Amazon tourist tax (21000 COP / person to date) .
Note 2: possibility to spend a first night in Leticia and visit the city. Starting at the lodge the next day.
Note 3: excursions are organized in pool service together with a local Spanish speaking guide. The lodge only has 4 bungalows, so the group never exceeds 6 to 8 people. For a private tour with a private guide, please contact us.

Overnight at Calanoa Lodge in Bungalow.
Included : transfer departure, domestic flight, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks), boat ticket, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide

Day 4: Calanoa Reserve

Early morning departure for a birding walk. Return to the lodge for breakfast. Then visit the Mocagua community. Discover their art crafted in red wood and natural fibers (chambira, yanchama). Lunch at the lodge.
Afternoon devoted to a walk in the reserve to the limits of Amacayacu Park. Part of the walk will be by boat, in order to access the waterfall. Back to the lodge in the Amazon River, just in time for the sunset. Observation of animals in this quiet jungle.

Overnight at Calanoa Lodge in Bungalow.
Included : lunch (no drinks), dinner (no drinks), excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast

Day 5: Calanoa Reserve

In the early morning, navigation until Mocagua island, with its inland lakes and unique species of flora and fauna. If the water level permits, breakfast on a beach along the river. Discovery of the island, composed mainly of flooded forest, and endemic species. Return to the lodge for lunch.
Afternoon dedicated to visit the Fundación Maicuchiga, which helps orphaned monkeys, led by Sara Bennett Doctora.
Dinner at the lodge.

Note: More possibilities for half-day excursions (interchangeable with those predefined in this program): discovery of the village of Puerto Nariño, watching pink dolphins, ceramic making workshop and braided basket, fishing .
Overnight at Calanoa Lodge in Bungalow.
Included : dinner (no drinks), excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast

Day 6: Calanoa Reserve - Leticia - Bogota - Pereira

After breakfast departure for Leticia in a private boat.

Note: according to your flight schedule, you can visit the city of Leticia. You can then reach the airport (located 10 minutes from the city) in "Cocotaxi".

Domestic flight to Bogota.

Domestic flight to Pereira.
Welcome to the « Coffee Triangle », including the departments of Caldas, Risaralda and Quindío, which together make up the heart of the Zona Cafetera, also called the Eje Cafetero. This area is famous for growing and producing the majority of the Colombian coffee, considered by some as the best coffee in the world.
Transfer to your Hacienda, a large traditional landed estate.
Overnight at Hacienda San Jose Hotel in Standard room.
Included : boat ticket, domestic flight, private transport, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 7: Cocora Valley - Pereira

Hiking in the Valley of Cocora on pleasant trails leading to the Acaime Reserve.
During walking, you will cross bucolic landscapes, and specially the wax palm along the pristine waters of the Rio Quindio with, in the background, the impressive peaks of the western Cordillera.
You will be able to admire endemic species such as hummingbirds, mountain Bulls and Barranqueros among others.

Note: 5 hours walking around; moderate to difficult level.
Overnight at Hacienda San Jose Hotel in Standard room.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 8: Otún Quimbaya Sanctuary - Pereira

Day dedicated to the natural attractions of the coffee area with the visit of the Sanctuary Otún Quimbaya, natural site dedicated to the protection of fauna and the local flora.
On site, hiking trails to discover the nature of this reserve: wax palms, orchids, waterfalls, howler monkeys ... The sanctuary is a popular destination for bird watchers.
Overnight at Hacienda San Jose Hotel in Standard room.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks), local english-speaking guide

Day 9: Pereira - Bogota - Santa Marta - Minca

Transfer to Pereira airport for your domestic flight.
Domestic flight to Bogota.
Domestic flight to Santa Marta.
Transport between Santa Marta and Minca.

Overnight at Minca Ecohabs in Premium room.

Included : private transport, domestic flight, room & breakfast

Day 10: Minca - El Dorado - Minca - Santa Marta - El Dorado

Early in the morning, you will go by jeep to El Dorado. You will walk to the Mirador to observe the snowy peaks. The day is devoted to bird watching in the Sierra Nevada. Path through a wooded area which is the only easily accessible area of the sierra, now protected. This reserve is home to some of the endemic bird species.
Nineteen endemic bird species are currently listed and over seventy subspecies.

Note: 1 hour walk to go to the lookout point to observe the snowy peaks and 1 hour and a half or more for bird watching.
Transport between Minca and El Dorado Reserve.

Arrival at the El Dorado Reserve in the Sierra Nevada, very well known by the ornithologists.
Overnight in a bungalow.
Note: 3-4 hours driving, most of it on tracks.
Included : entrance fees, private transport, local english-speaking guide , local guide, room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

Day 11: El Dorado

The tour, focused on bird watching, will be clarified on site with your tour guide according to your interests.
Route to San Lorezo Peak in the mountains of Santa Marta. This wooded part of the reserve is the only easily accessible area of the sierra, now protected. This reserve is home to some of the endemic bird species.
Because of its isolation, the Sierra Nevada has one of the highest densities of endemic plants in the world. Nineteen endemic bird species are currently listed and over seventy subspecies.
The daily excursions start early in the morning for a first walk, return to the lodge for lunch, and then, new walk during the afternoon.
The walks can be long but jeep vehicles are available.
Overnight in a bungalow.
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks), local english-speaking guide

Day 12: El Dorado - Santa Marta - El Dorado - Aéroport de Santa Marta - Santa Marta

New day of bird watching excursion in the Sierra Nevada.
Return to Santa Marta during the afternoon.
Note: 3-4 hours driving, most of it on tracks.
Transport.
Overnight at Casa Del Farol in Republicana Room.
Included : private transport, local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast

Day 13: Santa Marta - Cartagena de Indias

In the morning, departure to Cartagena de Indias, on the Caribbean Coast. Transfer to your hotel. Enjoy the end of the day to mix with the locals and soak up the regional atmosphere of this splendid colonial city designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Note : 4 to 5 hours ride.

Overnight at Casa San Agustin Hotel in Deluxe room.

Included : private transport, room & breakfast

Day 14: Cartagena de Indias

Morning dedicated to the visit of the main historic and cultural sites of Cartagena:

- The Convent of the Popa: perched on a hill that embraces the whole bay, this monastery houses a beautiful patio, a colonial museum and a chapel dedicated to the Virgen de la Candelaria.
- Panoramic View from the Castle of San Felipe Barajas: at the doors of the colonial city, it is one of the greatest strongholds ever built by the Spanish Army. The view of the city is impressive.
- Direction Fuerte San Sebastian del Pastelillo now listed Historical and Cultural Humanity Heritage by UNESCO. This is the first fort built in Cartagena, in 1741. It was there that took place the famous attack of British Pirate Sir Francis Drake. The fort was restored in the 1970s and is home to the famous restaurant Club de Pesca.
In the afternoon, you will go for a guided walking tour through the Walled City, including the visit of the most beautiful areas such as San Diego, Plaza Santo Domingo, Getsemani and other landmarks with very rich history.
Note: lunch at Club de Pesca, contact us if you are interested.

Overnight at Casa San Agustin Hotel in Deluxe room.

Included : entrance fees, private transport, excursion (private), local english-speaking guide , room & breakfast

Day 15: Cartagena de Indias - Bogota

Transfer to Cartagena airport for your flight to Bogota. Connexion to your international flight.
IMPORTANT : depending on your flight schedule, make sure you have the time for connexion. Otherwise, choose to stay overnight in Bogota the day before departure.
Domestic flight to Bogota.
Included : transfer departure, domestic flight

The Orchids Hotel   Bogota

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

In the heart of the diplomatic and cultural city of Bogota stands a jewel: declared National Monument in 1933, The Orchids hotel reveals a neoclassical style from 1892 and is distinguished by the elegant combination of the functionality of the modern hospitality and sophistication of classic style. Interior illumination reflects the grandeur of this property, and the central courtyard is a source of fresh air.

Option : Dinner at the hotel

Included :
dinner (no drinks)

Calanoa Lodge   Calanoa Reserve

Level : ecolodge
Included : room & breakfast

In harmony with its environment, Calanoa Ecologde offers an invigorating experience in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, just 1h30 by boat from the town of Leticia. The 4 bungalows of this property have been imagined by Diego Samper combining traditional techniques and a more contemporary approach.

Hacienda San Jose   Pereira

Level : 4*
Included : room & breakfast

Welcome into one of the oldest Haciendas in the coffee region: Hacienda San Jose, built in 1888. The Hacienda is surrounded by a rich ecosystem in which guests can walk among the samans, ceiba, totumos and other tropical varieties. Owners since entire generations, the family will have the pleasure to greet you personally and will make every effort to make you feel at home.

Option : Dinner at the hotel (no drinks)

Included :
dinner (no drinks)

Minca Ecohabs   Minca

Level : 2*
Included : room & breakfast

This eco-lodge is ideally situated in the village of Minca, coffee and ecological capital of the Sierra Nevada. Ir has spectacular views of the city, the sea and the mountains of the Sierra. At the heart of nature, your authentic stay will be punctuated by birdsong and the beauty of the surrounding ecosystem.

El Dorado Hotel   El Dorado

Level : ecolodge
Included : room & breakfast, dinner (no drinks)

The El Dorado reserve is now managed by the private ProAves Foundation. This natural reserve was created in 2006 to protect one of the most fragile ecosystems of Colombia, the Sierra Nevada, home to many endemic species of birds and animals. The bungalows, or Kogihabs, built of wood blend beautifully in nature. Enjoy the sunsets from the top of these mountains that plunge over the Caribbean.

Casa del Farol   Santa Marta

Level : 3*
Included : room & breakfast

This Hotel Boutique, located in the heart of the historic center of Santa Marta, offers spacious and tastefully decorated rooms. au coeur du centre historique de Santa Marta offre des chambres spacieuses et décorées avec goût. The colonial building, dating from 1720, has two swimmingpools on the top terrace with spectacular views over the city.

Casa San Agustin   Cartagena de Indias

Level : 5*
Included : room & breakfast

Casa San Agustin invites you to live an experience in the heart of the colonial center whose architecture evokes the glory days of the 17th century. In the heart of Cartagena, this little gem has been fabulously restored and refurbished to meet the demands of a new generation of international travelers attracted by a contemporary revival and artistic Caribbean touch.

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